The rain and lightning shortened the program Saturday night at Plymouth Speedway with only three of five features taking the checkers but the racing action was non-stop while it lasted. Without fans in the stands and over 120 cars signed in for the five classes social distancing was still at a premium. The pits were expanded into the spectator parking in order to accommodate the additional space needed. The racing action was streamed online for free for fans to comply with the ongoing safety restrictions.
While the six foot recommendations were being strongly monitored in the pits, the action on the track was a lot closer. North Manchester’s Ryan Cripe, Ron Wilkes of Lowell and Valparaiso’s Austen Hubbard picked up the feature wins in UMP Modified, Super Street and Street Stock classes. The Non-wing 600s and Four Cylinders will both have double feature events Saturday May 30th.
Cripe started third in the A feature with Nick Clubb and Garrett Jameson starting on the front row. Derek Losh and Frank Marshall started 7th and 8th respectively would end up rounding out the podium.
Losh found the cushion on lap 2 and made steady progress towards the front. When the yellow came out at lap 4 he was in fourth just behind Cripe. “Unfortunately I showed Cripe the speed up top when that first yellow came out,” said Losh.
Cripe would move up to the top for the remainder of the race taking the lead not long after the green and never look back.
While Cripe stayed glued to the cushion, Losh would venture about a half a lane lower and could get close but the yellows kept him from being able to get past.
While these two were battling up top for the lead, Marshall was able to get several good laps put together down low. Marshall looked to get in the mix but the laps ran out. Nick Allen grabbed the final transfer in the B-main and would be the night’s hard charger moving up to a top ten finish in ninth from his 20th starting spot.
The biggest surprise of the evening was the 20 lap green flag caution free Super Sport A main. This hard charging, close racing class put together a 22 car feature that had the leaders in lapped traffic on lap five.
Wilkes started on the pole and got out to a quick lead putting together some flawless laps from the green flag. Shaun Wiltjer started fifth but was on Wilkes bumper not long after the green with some equally quick laps. Once the leaders got into lapped traffic is was a chess match of picking the right spots on the track to move forward. Wiltjer was able to keep within striking distance but without a yellow the opportunities were limited. Nick Sepiak of Coal City, Ill. finished third from seventh again just keeping in touch through lapped traffic.
Hubbard won the first feature of the season taking the lead near the half way point and holding off some hard racing to pick up the win. RJ Akers of Portage started on the pole with Lee Hall along side. Hall would take the early lead and maintain that lead for the first half of the race. A yellow on lap nine had Hall leading Akers with Hubbard still in third. But on lap 12 Hubbard was able to get past both taking the lead and never looking back. Hall would eventually fade to fourth with Wally Kerst finishing on the podium in third. Sawyer Prosser was the hard charger in this event finishing ninth from an 18th starting spot.
Unfortunately next Saturday’s event will be without spectators also and will begin an hour earlier at 5:30 EDT to accompany the additional features.